September 5, 2005

Carl Carmer, of Dryden

Dryden's used bookstores always seem to have a fair number of copies of Carl Carmer's books on New York. My Kind of Country is a compendium of his articles, and I remembered one article - "Upstate is a Country" - well. I went back to look it up, and this is what I found.

The happiest entry into New York State, my grandfather used to say, is to be born there. The only disadvantage, he would add, is that you will not realize your enviable lot until you have grown old enough to travel and see how much less fortunate the natives of other regions are. Since he wore the long white beard of a patriarch and unfailingly served buckwheat pancakes and maple sirup for breakfast, I received his every word as gospel. Indeed, my boyish pride in New York was fortified on each of my frequent visits to his home in Dryden, in the center of the state, especially when reminded me, as he did invariably, that my very birth might have occurred uncomfortably, high on a Tompkins County hill, had not his team of white-faced York-State-bred Morgans made a record dash to the Cortland Hospital.

Carmer didn't stay in Dryden very long, but the place (and his grandfather) clearly had an effect on him. (My Kind of Country is still in print.)

Posted by simon at September 5, 2005 7:13 PM in ,
Note on photos


Nellie Abernethy Molloy said:

I spent my childhood in Dryden, with my parents and grandfather, Earl G. Burch. Though decades have passed,and I am no longer there, and I am in my 70's, my heart is still in Dryden and upstae New York. Imagine my surprise to find just last week, in a library booksale in Houston Texas,the book,"My Kind of Country"..and now to see this article in your paper !

What a joy and coincidence !I still correspond with a childhood friend there, Elsie Gutchess, and am a farway member of the Dryden Historical Society. With much pleasure,I log on to this web site frequently and remember fondly the days when the Rural News was in print. What a long way we have come...thank you !
Nellie ( Abernethy) Molloy

bill white said:

Do you have the memoirs of Myron Carmer who grew up in Dryden in 1850's and 1860's?

Gordon and Martha Barr said:

We are looking for two of Carl Carmer books "Susquehanna" and "Listen for a Lonesome Drum"